Icy Iowa City tries to thaw - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Icy Iowa City tries to thaw

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - City trucks were spreading rock salt on streets all day Tuesday, to the tune of $155 a ton. It's a huge cost for them this year, due to shipping and shortages. Rock salt has gone up from $67 dollars a ton last year.

One family business says its using a different product, because if used properly, it can be more effective.

Like a growing number of other businesses, Mall Service and Instant Green is using a chloride solution, which actually melts its way below the ice.

Troy Mayfield drives a truck for the company, rigged with sprayers and a tank filled with the solution.

"It's totally environmentally safe," he says. "Safe for cats, safe for dogs, safe for everything."

Mayfield says it's more effective than regular salt, because it's not necessary to apply it multiple times. Many of his clients are switching to this method, because it's less damaging to floors. But the big reason is the potential to save thousands of dollars during an icy Iowa winter.

"You're looking at maybe three quarters of the cost of what it would take with salt, sand and ice melt."

Last year, his co-worker Mike Uhler had to use a jackhammer and heavy-duty bit to break through several inches of accumulated ice. "Trying to chip through it with a handchipper was just impossible," Uhler told us.

This year, he hopes the jackhammer will stay in the garage.

Mall Service also clears city walks in front of businesses and homes that don't remove ice completely within 24 hours, which is required by most city codes.

The fee for failing to do that ranges between $75 and $300.

Online Reporter: Brady Smith

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